The redoubtable Disney blogger JIm Hill looks at Disney’s somewhat anemic summer. PRINCE CASPIAN was a disappointment (moving from Christmas to summer for the family-themed film was a bad move) and even the majestic WALL-E (a flawless, perfect movie classic) earned a bit less than hoped due to the DARK KNIGHT juggernaut. So what is the answer to beefing up the box office? Could it be…comic books?
This is why Mickey signed Stan Lee last year. With the hope that Spider-man’s creator might then be able to cook up a few new super heroes for the Mouse House to use. And while that development deal has already begun bearing some fruit with the “Time Jumper” franchise, Disney — with an eye toward creating the sort of heat within the fan community that film adaptations like “Sin City,” “300” and “Watchmen” regularly receive — is now getting ready to move into the graphic novel market.
Hill then points to the new Kingdom Comics imprint as a key part of this plan.
Now where this all gets interesting is that the team that the Mouse hired to run its graphic novel division, Kingdom Comics — Ahmet Zappa, Harris Katleman and Christian Beranek — was given some very specific marching orders. In that these three were told to go through the Studio’s live-action library and then identify titles that would lend themselves to graphic novel adaptation.
Titles mentioned include the much discussed THE BLACK HOLE and 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, which would tie in with Disney’s recent trend of reviving ’70s/’80s fare such as TRON and WITCH MOUNTAIN.
Personally, we wouldn’t hold out much hope for Stan Lee, since he seems to be creating new universes for everyone from Virgin to Viz. Even Stan the Man can only create one or two universes a year without a drop in quality.
BTW, while we’re at it, does anyone remember that THE BLACK HOLE starred Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Yvette Mimieux, Roddy McDowall, Slim Pickens, and…ERNEST BORGNINE. All wearing retro-futuro space suits. That was the good stuff then, man.
Forget about the long ago game of casting the Watchmen. Let’s cast the new BLACK HOLE movie. We vote for Adrian Pasdar and Billy Boyd to start. But WHO could replace Ernest Borgnine?
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Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.